Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology exercise
Earth and Planetary Sciences- University of New MexicoAuthor Profile
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Simple classroom activity to highlight how cyclostratigraphy and concepts of astronchronology can be used to refine age control in sedimentary rocks, estimate rates of processes, and for time control and correlation.
Upper division required sedimentology-stratigraphy class or perhaps an advanced Earth History course.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Students need background in magnetostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, basics of Milankovitch orbital parameters, and some marine sedimentology.
How the activity is situated in the course
This is a stand alone exercise completed in one 30 minute class period. It could be a homework assignment.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Goals are to illustrate how various stratigraphic tools, radiometric dating, and Milankovitch climate change can be used to provide age control in sedimentary rocks.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Exercise involves analysis of data, synthesis of ideas, and formulation of hypotheses.
Other skills goals for this activity
Simple mathematics (division) & brief written answers.
Description of the activity/assignment
This hypothetical Miocene exercise is designed to bring together knowledge of marine sedimentology, magnetostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, and biostratigraphy to illustrate how climate changes related to Milankovitch orbital forcing can be used to refine the time scale, determine the timing of events, and estimate rates ("astrochronology").
Determining whether students have met the goals
Determine if the students got the answers to the questions correct.More information about assessment tools and techniques.
Download teaching materials and tips
- Astrochronology exercise student assignment/handout (Acrobat (PDF) 30kB Feb9 12)
Astrochronology exercise stratigraphic column figure (Acrobat (PDF) 22kB Feb20 12)
- Photo of limestone-shale cycles (PowerPoint 499kB Feb9 12)